Stephanie Roston was a true-life Super Women. She shed her “useless body” and passed away in her home August 11th and is at last free from her brutal daily battle with a ruthless enemy — ALS Bulbar.
Ultimately, she won this battle. She never surrendered her inner peace or the joy and gratitude she drew every day from her love of family, her husband, caregivers, friends, family and her dog Sherman. She found constant comfort and respite in the house and garden she created.
She was born Stephanie Adams to Sky (Walter) and Lorraine Adams on November 19th, 1949. Stephanie early on showed a fierce independence and “can do” spirit. She attended Saint Boniface Catholic school in Anaheim, CA and graduated from San Clemente High School in 1967 and graduated with honors from San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.
Stephanie was very close to her father “Skee” and learned from him early on that working hard and earning your own money mean financial freedom.
Her father passed away in 1973.
Stephanie met her life soulmate Richard Roston early in life while attending San Diego State University. The attraction was quick from their shared passion in academia which they balanced with a shared quest for freedom, travel and a love of the outdoors. From the time they first met, Stephanie and Richard were inseparable.
They enjoyed spending much of their time on the beach, travelling to Mexico and attending concerts. They enjoyed attending Renaissance Fairies where Stephanie recognized an opportunity to apply the sewing skills, she learned from her mother early and life to make and sell costumes. After college she landed a job with Apropos designing a high end clothing line for women.
Yet, Santa Barbara remained a beacon to the young couple who would ultimately relocate and pool their earned income to purchase an undeveloped parcel in Mission Canyon They married November 5th, 1982 on the property which they built together.
Following her natural instinct for design, her talent as a seamstress, and considerable discipline as a businesswoman, she partnered in building a costume company, Central Casting, which provided costumes to old time photo studios theme parks and tourist destinations globally.
Over the next decades the young couple rallied their favorite artisans and carpenters combining Stephanie’s keen eye for design and detail and Richards landscape skill, to build their dream home where she would realize her wish to spend her final days.
Stephanie enjoyed visiting her large family for holidays, but otherwise cherished her time at home where she worked tirelessly on her business and house projects with a special love and attention to her garden.
In 2014 Stephanie was diagnosed with ALS Bulbar. She was given a projected two years of life remaining, which she outlived due to the
considerable strength of her will. She was a fierce, smart, and a determined warrior, angry at her prognosis and rightfully so. Early on, she studied as much literature about ALS published globally as she could. With the support of friends, she made contact with top researchers and doctors.
Time and time again specialists would marvel at her independence, selfcare, knowledge, nutrition management that they found would add to their own base of knowledge about coping with the disease. Although she lost her ability to speak, we could still understand each other. I could read her eyes, as she could mine.
She had done everything right, worked hard to live a private, healthy, simple and beautiful life. Grace defined her. Impeccable taste from the soft fabrics that draped over her long super model physique, golden long hair that flowed from a face of indescribable beauty. Her husband Richard even commented on her final day with us that even ravished by her illness, her beauty was still undeniable.
Her entire care team felt her grace, her diligence and the privilege of being with her, during a very difficult journey. We all appreciate deeper sense of intimacy she shared with us. It was a tremendous gift.
Up until her final weeks, she still managed to run her multiple business, and always found a creative solution for every new hurdle. She had an answer for everything, and she was always right.
She defined the words beauty and grace, not only by her stunning physical presence, but most especially by the way she lived her life.
Stephanie did not want anyone to feel sorry for her because, as she said “Life was good, I am grateful for the life I’ve lived and have had a great happy life. I am thankful”
She is survived by her beloved and devoted husband Richard, her sister Suzette Preston and her husband Dale, her brother Craig Adams, his wife Terri, her sisters Stacy Adams, and Shelly Adams. She is also survived by 9 nieces and nephews and 7 great nieces and nephews, her dog Sherman and chosen son Thomas Rollerson. Her mother Loraine Adams Tozer passed away on the same day at age 91.
Her entire family and I are deeply grateful to everyone who helped us. We thank our friends and neighbors, Brett @ Kate Farms, Michael for his selflessness, patience and support in caring for Stephanie and me and his boss who connected us with the top research and physicians in the country. We are super grateful for the exceptional care teams and Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care.
Stephanie Roston passed away with her family and her beloved dog Sherman by her side, just as she wished. Stephanie lived a beautiful and simple life. And despite her illness she lived everyday with grace, gratitude, and an indomitable will to carry on. She is an inspiration to us all.
Those who knew her can feel her reflection; the hummingbirds that drew her outside are a reminder that she is with us. Stephanie would love if you listened to her favorite song “When I come Back; the Hummingbird Song” by the band Venice”, and when you do so we hope you can see the joy that glistened in her eyes, feel the love that poured out from her heart, and embody the happiness as when she danced, no matter if her body kept up or not. Feel her joy, always.
In Lieu of flowers donations can be made in her memory to Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care / VNA Health’ www.vnhcsb.org , C.A.R.E4Paws www.care4paws.org/shelter or Lhasa Happy Homes https://lhasahappyhomes.org/